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Yellowstone National Park, Part 1

Due to the number of images, Yellowstone has been split into three pages. To keep the images manageable, they have been organized by Grand Loop Road segments. See below.

Quick Index:

South entrance sign


If I had to pick my favorite National Park (and I think I did) that park would be Yellowstone.

It's geologic features range from tall mountains, to deep river and glacial canyons. The park sits atop a super-volcano, which leads to steaming geothermal features only found in select areas on Earth. It's the source of the Yellowstone River, which takes a wild ride through its first 20 or 30 miles, and eventually becomes a major tributary to the Missouri River. There are hundreds of waterfalls and cascades and immense open prairies. The Continental Divide runs through the Southern part of the park.

It's wildlife is the most accessible and diverse, from Bear sightings (and you best hope that those sightings aren't close up) to Bison who have no problem giving you the stink eye as they stand in front of your car as a herd crosses the road. Elk are common in the park, with the best experience in Mammoth Hot Springs in the Fall, when large herds come down during the evenings and almost co-habitate with humans (or at least tolerates their presence) so they can eat the mowed grass. You can even see the cutthroat trout lazily taunting all the anglers on the (no) fishing bridge.

The bad news is, the park is a victim of its own success. The number of people in the park during the tourist season is insane. Yellowstone is a large park, but popular sites like Old Faithful and the Canyon area can get very crowded.

The good news is, the crowds aren't quite as bad during the off season. The best time to visit might be after Labor Day and before "mid-October", when the park service starts shutting down roads for the winter. Back to Top

The Grand Loop

Yellowstone Map
Cropped map of the Grand Loop to show waypoints which define road segments. Click on the map for a larger view. This map was downloaded from the NPS site.
The Grand Loop Road is 142 miles of narrow, sometimes pretty crappy, sometimes downright scary road. It's actually in a figure "8", with the bottom part of the "8" almost completely within the super-volcano's last caldera. It (and all the other roads, including the entrance roads) are two-lanes, with a general speed limit of 45mph or less. The road changes character many times as you travel it, and like many of the better park roads, it will look very different whether you're travelling it clockwise, or counter-clockwise.

Some segments are better than others, but the Since Yellowstone is so large (and accessible), the only real way to organize the pictures was by road segments. If you look at a road map of Yellowstone, the Grand Loop Road (more on that later) is a figure-eight, with junctions in various places with the Entrance Roads and the middle bar of the "8". These junctions are the natural segment breaks. The exception is Old Faithful, because, well, it's Old Faithful.

Part 1 starts with the South Entrance Road, the Grand Loop Road from West Thumb to Madison, the West Entrance Road, and the Grand Loop Road from Madison to Norris. I'm starting at the South Entrance because I've entered the park through the South Entrance all three times I've been to Yellowstone.

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South Entrance to West Thumb

A word about Grand Teton National Park: The only way to enter the South Entrance (for

South Entrance / Lewis River
199809NW_214F0821 199809NW_215F0822 199809NW_216J0115 199809NW_217F0823 200109Wst_744F11xxx 200109Wst_745T11184 200109Wst_746T11184 200109Wst_747T11184 200109Wst_748T11184 200109Wst_752T11185 200109Wst_754T11185 200109Wst_759N11xxx 200109Wst_760N11xxx 200109Wst_761N11xxx 199809NW_219J0116 199809NW_221F0901 199809NW_222F0902 199809NW_224F0903 199809NW_225J0118 200608PNW_1686D06100 200608PNW_1688C06100 200608PNW_1690C06101 200608PNW_1691C06101 200608PNW_1692D06101
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West Thumb to Old Faithful

Old Faithful Map
This map was downloaded from the NPS site.
Geyser Hill
200109Wst_852T13093 199809NW_516F1428 199809NW_517F1429 199809NW_518F1430 199809NW_519F1431 199809NW_520F1432 199809NW_521F1433 199809NW_522F1434 199809NW_523F1435 199809NW_525F1437 199809NW_526J0501 199809NW_527F1501 199809NW_528J0502 199809NW_529J0503 199809NW_530F1502 199809NW_531F1503 199809NW_532F1504 199809NW_533F1505 199809NW_535F1507 199809NW_538F1508 199809NW_540J0506 199809NW_541F1510 199809NW_542F1511 199809NW_543F1512 199809NW_544F1513
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Old Faithful Geyser

Old Faithful
199809NW_505F1420 199809NW_506J0421 199809NW_508F1422 199809NW_509F1421 199809NW_510F1423 199809NW_511F1424 199809NW_512F1425 199809NW_513J0423 199809NW_514F1426 199809NW_515J0424 200608PNW_1694C06122 200608PNW_1695C06122 200608PNW_1696C06122 200608PNW_1699C06124 200608PNW_1702C06124 200608PNW_1704C06130
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Old Faithful to Madison

The bison have right-of-way...
Black Sand Basin
199809NW_226F0905 199809NW_227F0906 199809NW_228F0907 199809NW_229J0119 199809NW_230J0120 199809NW_232J0122 199809NW_234F0909 199809NW_235F0910 199809NW_236F0911 199809NW_237J0123 199809NW_239F0912 199809NW_240F0913 199809NW_241F0914 199809NW_242F0915 199809NW_243J0125 199809NW_244F0916 199809NW_246J0201 199809NW_248F0920 199809NW_249F0918 199809NW_251J0202 199809NW_252J0203 199809NW_253F0922
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Biscuit Basin
199809NW_254F0923 199809NW_255J0204 199809NW_256F0924 199809NW_257F0925 199809NW_258F0926 199809NW_260F0928 199809NW_261J0206
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Midway Geyser Basin
199809NW_501J0420 199809NW_502F1417 199809NW_503F1418 199809NW_504F1419 199809NW_633F1720 199809NW_634F1721 199809NW_635P0210 199809NW_636F1722 199809NW_637F1723 199809NW_638J0607 199809NW_639J0608 199809NW_640J0609 199809NW_641J0610
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Firehole Lake Drive
199809NW_491F1409 199809NW_492F1410 199809NW_493P0201 199809NW_494F1411 199809NW_495F1412 199809NW_496J0419 199809NW_497F1413 199809NW_498F1414 199809NW_499F1415 199809NW_500F1416 200608PNW_1705C06132 200608PNW_17101713C06132 200608PNW_17141719C06133 200608PNW_1720C06134 200608PNW_1723C06134 200608PNW_1724C06135
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Fountain Paint Pots
199809NW_490F1408 199809NW_477F1403 199809NW_478J0411 199809NW_479J0412 199809NW_480J0413 199809NW_481J0414 199809NW_483J0415 199809NW_484F1405 199809NW_486J0416 199809NW_487F1407 199809NW_488J0417 199809NW_489J0418 200608PNW_1726D06140 200608PNW_1727D06140 200608PNW_1728D06140 200608PNW_1729D06141 200608PNW_17311736C06141 200608PNW_1737C06142
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US-89 / National Park Mountain
199809NW_476J0410 199809NW_474F1401 199809NW_475F1402 200109Wst_850T13085 200109Wst_851T13085 199809NW_263F0929 199809NW_264J0207 199809NW_265J0208 199809NW_786S0000 199809NW_266J0209 199809NW_269F0932 199809NW_271F0934 199809NW_273F0936 199809NW_274F0937 200109Wst_763T11194
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Firehole Canyon Drive
199809NW_467F1333 199809NW_468F1334 199809NW_469F1335 199809NW_470J0406 199809NW_471F0408 199809NW_472J1336 199809NW_473J0409 200109Wst_768T12092 200109Wst_770T12092 200109Wst_771T12092 200109Wst_773F12xxx 200109Wst_774F12xxx 200109Wst_777F12xxx 200109Wst_780F12xxx
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Madison to West Entrance

Madison to West Entrance
200109Wst_764T11194 200109Wst_766T11194 200109Wst_767T12090 200109Wst_836T12170 200109Wst_840T12171 200109Wst_842F12xxx 200109Wst_843F12xxx 200109Wst_849F12xxx 200109Wst_845T12172 200109Wst_846T12172 200109Wst_847T12172 200109Wst_848T12172
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Madison to Norris

I have no images of the area between Madison and Norris Junctions. The explanation for this, is while I was down this segment in 1998, I was still shooting film, so I only shot frames if something was overwhelmingly interesting.

In 2001, this road segment was closed for construction, much to my surprise, and had I known when planning the trip, wouldn't have booked a room in West Yellowstone. However, the day I arrived in Yellowstone that year was September 11, so the trip was destined to not-be-fun from that day forward, anyway.

We didn't even drive this segment in 2008, since that trip was more dedicated to Grand Teton, and we only drove through Yellowstone to get to the Chief Joseph Highway.
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Norris to Canyon

Norris to Canyon
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End Yellowstone National Park - Part 1 of 3.

Jump to: Part 2 Part 3
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